The Center for Civic Engagement's mission is to bring together dedicated and passionate students, faculty, staff and local community organizations in order to create meaningful change on a host of issues affecting the local, national and international community. Through a variety of service projects, public awareness initiatives and educational opportunities, we create a space in which one's talents and interests can be used to better our community and the world.
The Community Service Center
The Community Service Center, part of the Center for Civic Engagement, plans and coordinates our volunteer efforts by advising students and student organizations on volunteer opportunities, and by creating and coordinating large-scale community service projects. These include:
- Homecoming: Cougars Taking Action - Students koin together during Homecoming Week to participate in a fun and unique service project.
- Spring into Service - Each Spring, students have the opportunity to participate in a series of service projects yo benefit the local community. Students can participate in one or all of them!
- Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week - The entire campus unities in a week of activities to raise awareness of hunger and homelessness issues issues in the Charleston community.
- Volunteer Fair – Held during the student organization fair, this event gives students a chance to meet directly with the staff of local nonprofits as they browse a range of available service opportunities.
- Dash for Trash – Student teams scour downtown Charleston in a litter-collecting scavenger hunt. Litter is assigned point values (recyclable cans = 2 points, dog "litter" = 10 points, and so on). The team with the biggest haul wins a prize, and the whole community wins, too.
- Alternative Break – Students spend College breaks traveling to national and international destinations to participate in community service, explore exciting places and make new friends. All trips are led and planned by students so there are always new projects and locales.
If you are interested in volunteering on a regular basis, we can use our database of local projects to find an opportunity that best suits you. Additionally, the Volunteer Corps, a student organization we advise, hosts regular community service and social events. Their membership is open to any student who wishes to volunteer in Charleston.
The Bonner Leader Program
Bonner Leaders are outstanding students who commit themselves to leadership through service and to making positive changes across campus and in the community. This two-to-four-year scholarship program pairs real-life work experiences in area nonprofit organizations with powerful leadership development training and education that helps students transition from volunteers to leaders in their community.
If you are interested in joining this dynamic and unique program, please consider applying in August, before the start of the fall semester. Acceptance into the Bonner Leader program is competitive, however, students from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Visit our Bonner wiki and blog for more information on how to apply.
The Center for Civic Engagement continues to help faculty and students link academic goals with community needs and service opportunities. If you are a faculty member or student wishing to create a unique academic experience or enhance a current academic model, please contact us about the numerous ways that classroom learning can be linked to the Charleston community. New to service-learning? Learn and Serve America has created a great resource on What is Service-Learning which explains how it can apply to you.
If you wish to learn more about any of our services or programs, please contact us! We are located in the Lightsey Center above the College of Charleston bookstore:
160 Calhoun Street
Lightsey Center, Room 203
Charleston, SC 29424
Director of the Center for Civic Engagement